Identify the Umbrella Topic for Your Teaching Channel | Dvorah Lansky | Skillshare

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Identify the Umbrella Topic for Your Teaching Channel

teacher avatar Dvorah Lansky, Author & Course Creation Specialist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Essence of an Umbrella Topic

    • 3. Discover Your Umbrella Topic

    • 4. Identify Your Ideal Students

    • 5. What Would You Love to Teach

    • 6. Choose Your Channel Focus

    • 7. What Types of Classes Will You Teach

    • 8. Class Project and Next Steps

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About This Class

While you can create classes on just about any topic you’d like, you can leverage your opportunities and boost your success as a teacher by creating a focus for your channel.

By identifying your Teaching Channel Focus, you’ll be creating a “destination” for your students. They’ll benefit by having easy access to content they’re interested in and you’ll benefit by increased visibility and repeat students.

In this class you’ll:

* Discover how to identify your umbrella topic.

* Draw from your experience and knowledge to create a teaching channel you'll love.

* Set the stage so you can begin creating classes based on your knowledge and expertise.

What Students Are Saying (From the Reviews of This Class)

"I'm new to Skillshare, but D'vorah's class really helped me decide that I could teach here. Her practical steps showed me what I need to do to decide on an umbrella topic for my teaching channel. Her explanations helped me understand why it's imperative to come up with such a topic, rather than just creating scattered classes here and there. I highly recommend this course. D'vorah is an excellent instructor."
- Donna K. Fitch

"Clear and well organized, as D'vorah's classes always are. I found the section on how to choose topics under your umbrella particularly useful."
- Dorine Kramer

"This class is great for anyone wanting to create classes and courses. D'vorah helps to find focus to narrow down the ideal student and the ideal topic, which is a must before getting started. She has an easy to understand style and she breaks the class into small bites for anyone to follow. The printable worksheets are very practical and make students take action right away to get started."
- Agi Kadar

"D'vorah is an excellent teacher on this topic. Everything is explained clearly and simply so it is very easy to follow. Her assignment worksheets, found under 'Your Project' are very easy to apply. I really enjoyed this course. Thanks D'vorah."
- Dianne Hummelle

"If you are not sure what your Skillshare channel should be about, or you have several ideas you need to narrow down to one, then this class is a must for you. The individual lessons are clear and easy to digest. The handout in the Your Project area will give you the tools and exercises you need to help you identify and select the right channel for you."
- William McPeck

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dvorah Lansky

Author & Course Creation Specialist


Greetings! My name is D'vorah Lansky. I have a Master's Degree in Education and am the bestselling author of many books including; the Action Guides for Authors series of workbooks and journals and the Health and Happiness Journal series.

Since 2007 I've created 40+ online training program and have taught online marketing and course creation to thousands of authors, entrepreneurs and creatives, across the globe.

One of my passions is to help people share their brilliance with the world.

I look forward to connecting with you here on Skillshare and welcome you to explore my courses on Creative Course Creation Tips, Tools and Strategies.

I've you'd like, check out my website at:

And you can view my books, workboo... See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: Oh, welcome, Teoh. Identify the umbrella topic for your teaching channel. I'm Devora Lansky, and I'd like to briefly introduce myself and let you know what you'll learn in this class. I've been teaching online full time since 2000 and seven, and I've created over 40 online courses, which I've talked to thousands of authors and entrepreneurs across the globe. I love teaching. I love learning, and I love helping people to reach their goals. I'm also the author of over 20 best selling books on the topics of online marketing and course creation. In this class, you'll learn ways to draw from your experience and knowledge so that you can create a teaching channel that you and your students will love. You want to create an umbrella topic for your teaching channel, because that will allow you to focus on your strength and what you're interested in, and you'll attract your ideal students who are eager to learn what you have to teach. You might be wondering what an umbrella topic is. An umbrella topic creates an over arching focus for all of the content you share on your teaching channel. This is a really powerful strategy because it allows you to attract students who can come back time and again to look for content on a topic that's of interest to them. So, for example, you could have a teaching channel where you teach cooking and crafts and marketing and politics. The thing is that will leave you with a mish mosh, and people won't know what you are about. By having an umbrella topic, you'll become known for your area of expertise, and people who are looking for training in that area will discover you. And once they take one class with you, when you publish a new class skill share will notify your current students. And if they're interested in that topic area, you'll likely have repeat students creating a win win proposition. So in this class, I'm going to walk you through a step by step process for identifying your umbrella topic. In addition to the training that you'll receive in the videos, you also have action steps that will help you apply what you learn. You'll find the action steps in the your class project section just below the video lessons in that section. You'll also find bonus handouts to capture your ideas and help you take action on what you learn. So let's get started 2. Essence of an Umbrella Topic: So let's dive in to the training to begin with. Let's explore the essence of an umbrella topic and what that means. So here's an analogy. An umbrella topic provides you with a niche topic for your ideal audience. So why is that important? Because if you create classes that your ideal audience is interested in, you're going tohave. Repeat students. You're going to grow your channel, and you're going to feel fulfilled as you deliver content that's important to you. And in this class, we're going to explore various facets of that and how to create an intersection that will combine your expertise your students needs and what you would love to teach. So here's the analogy. Let's say your audience is interested in pink tennis shoes. Well, they could look for them in a department store. They have to find the department. There's probably a limited number of pink 10 issues, if any, Or they can go toe a shoe store and find the same thing. Or they could go to a niche topic store dedicated to pink tennis shoes. Now, if they're interested in pink tennis shoes, they're likely to become a fan and a recurring customer off that store or, in our case, a fan of our teaching and of our learning channel. So let's explore the pink tennis you umbrella. To take the analogy a little further, the pink 10 Issues store is analogous to umbrella topic. Customers interested in pink tennis shoes will likely be interested in things related two pink, 10 issues. So your umbrella topic is not one topic unto its own. It's an umbrella that covers over, AH, variety of topics related to that umbrella. So under our pink tennis you umbrella, we might find coordinating socks, attractive shoe laces, matching apparel, etcetera. Do you get the idea? And you see how this can spark ideas for additional classes for you once you know what your umbrella is, and again, we're going to dive deeper into that. In this class, your teaching channel could offer content that fits under your umbrella topic. This will allow you to become known as the go to instructor on topics of interest to your ideal students, and this is going to allow you to create a fan base and followers. And one thing that's really nice about skill share is that once you have students when you publish a new class skill share, will email your students and let them know that you have a new class so you can see why it's important to have classes that are related to one another, because students interested in your topic will be interested in other classes that you teach. So rather than having students go through just one class, you'll likely have students who want to go through many of your classes. And remember, as teachers on skill share, we get paid for the number of minutes that students watch our classes and will help them dig deeper by exposing them to aspects and facets of your umbrella topic. While you can create classes on just about any topic you'd like, you can leverage your opportunities and boost your success as a teacher by creating a focus for your channel. In that way, you'll be creating a destination, if you will for your students, and they'll benefit by having easy access to content they're interested in, and you'll benefit by increased visibility and repeat students. So once you identify your umbrella topic, you'll be able to come up with ideas for classes that would fit under that umbrella. Here's an illustration. I'll use my umbrella topic as an example, so my expertise is in the area of online course creation. So here are a list of potential classes that would fit under that umbrella. Create your first class, create your next class, market your class, create class handouts, design your video slides and record your video content so you can see that those are all pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, if you will. And I'm hoping this is beginning to spark some ideas for you. So I want to contrast that to, ah, list of potential classes that I could teach because these air topics I'm interested in. But they don't fit under my primary umbrella for what I want to be known for on my teaching channel growing organic tomatoes, quilting, bike writing, jazz, piano, creating digital art and exploring beaches in New England. I could teach classes on each of those topics. But if I want to be known for my area of expertise teaching classes that are unrelated that don't fit under my umbrella topic will dilute my brand at the same time by writing down my ideas for what I'd love to teach and what my ideal students would love to learn. I might decide that I don't want to be known for my area of business expertise. Maybe I want to create a teaching channel based on hobbies and interest and enriching lives by exploring your passion that would then become the umbrella topic, and the column on the right would be the classes that would fit under that umbrella. So you want to get clear on what your umbrella topic is. And in the upcoming videos, I'm going to walk you through the process toe, help you with that. So which teacher would you more closely follow the one who teaches classes related to an umbrella topic you're interested in? Or one that offers classes on all sorts of topics, from marketing to canning food to home, staging to figure skating, knowing what your umbrella topic is an offering. Classes that could fit under that umbrella will help you build a loyal following, and many repeat students 3. Discover Your Umbrella Topic: Now let's dig in and discover your umbrella topic. What we're gonna do is go through some exercises to help you with that. So when identifying your umbrella topic, you want to give thought to what you'd like to be known for, what your areas of expertise are, who your ideal students are and what challenges they face and what you'd love to teach. Now, this last one in some ways is one of the most important facets because you can have expertise in an area. But it could be an area that thinking about creating classes on that topic makes you feel uncomfortable or anxious, or it's something that you want to avoid. For whatever reason, maybe you love the topic, but it's not something that you want to teach. So through these exercises, we're gonna identify again your area of expertise and what you want to be known for the needs of your students and what you'd love to teach in the class Project section. Just below these videos, you'll find a set of worksheets that you can download and print off that will walk you through the following exercises. If you'd like, watch the video first and then you can go through the exercises. So first of all, you want to describe your areas of expertise. These can be related to your profession. Toe what you've studied or toe what you're really passionate about. You want to be really clear about what it is you offer and who it is you serve. So as you go through the exercises and begin to write about your areas of expertise, give thought to what expertise do you have based on your profession? What do you experienced or study that your ideal students would love to learn more about? What do you passionate about? There are so many people who are eager to know how to accomplish what comes naturally to you. You might think, Oh, it's no big deal. Anyone can do it. But you know what? Anyone is not where you are based on years of experience and hours and hours off applying that knowledge so you can help people short cut their journey by sharing what you love and sharing what you know 4. Identify Your Ideal Students: So before creating a class, you want to get crystal clear on who your ideal students or clients are and what they most want or need. Toe learn Because remember, your classes can help a lot of people and help people to short cut their journey. This will allow you to maximize your efforts while helping the exact people who need what you have to offer. This will also help you to decide on a focus for your channel. So we're going to take these. Various jigsaw puzzles from the exercises were going through to help you get really clear on what your teaching channel is about. Take some time to think about and describe your ideal student or client. What are they most interested in? What are the top three things they struggle with? What do they want most in life, and what do they want to achieve or learn more about? Can you see how getting clear on this is going to not only help you identify your ideal students, it will help you come up with more ideas for classes you might want to teach, which is what we're going to get into in the next video 5. What Would You Love to Teach: The next step is to think about what you love to teach, because remember, you might have expertise in the area. Your students might be interested in a specific topic. But if it's not something that you'd like to teach, I wouldn't recommend that you create a class around it. So if you create classes on topics that you love, things that you would love to teach, first of all, it will be easier for you to create those classes. And it will be a lot more fun for you and for your students, because your love for the topic will come through in your teaching. So we talked about your areas of expertise. Now it's time to create that intersection between your area of expertise and what you'd love to teach. What are you most interested in and possibly interested in teaching that complements your expertise? Now find the intersection between your expertise, the needs of your students and what you'd love to teach. Those three converging points will help you identify the perfect topics for classes for your teaching channel as you write about what you have expertise in, plus an interest in that your audience would love to know more about and get excited because as you discover this intersection, it's gonna help you to gain clarity on the topic for your teaching channel. 6. Choose Your Channel Focus: all right, We're coming into the home stretch here. It's time to choose your channel. Focus. So stroll down below the videos to the class project section and download the worksheets. Go through these exercises, and it's gonna help you to gain clarity on who your ideal students are, what you'd like to teach and what you'd like your channel focused to be. There's also worksheet that will help you to brainstorm on topics and ideas for potential classes that you might want to teach. Now, in another class on my teaching channel, you'll find classes related to creating your first and next classes, and I hope you find those helpful. But for now, let's keep going and help you identify the focus for your channel. So once you go through the exercises in the worksheets, pick your channel focus. And then, while it's on your mind, brainstorm ideas for possible classes that you could teach that would fit under your umbrella topic. So what I'd like to do is walk you through some exercises that could help to spark ideas for potential classes that you could teach on your channel 7. What Types of Classes Will You Teach: you may find that once you identify your channel, focus that the ideas for types of classes that you'd want to teach that would fit under that umbrella start to flow. Find a quiet place to write where you can begin to brainstorm possible class topics of things that you would love to teach and don't worry about. How are you going to teach them all? How are you going to create the mall? Which one should you create? First? Just get the ideas out, do some brainstorming with out prejudging, and you might be amazed at what comes through. As you begin to brainstorm, you may find that there are a lot of ideas that come to mind, So to help to capture these ideas shot them down. As you think of them, you may have a slew of ideas that come through right away. Once you identify your channel, focus. Or you may have a few ideas that begin to trickle through, and you can add to that brainstorm list over time to begin. Jot down your ideas on one list, and then as the ideas begin to flow, you may find that there are related topics that you can group together under one category, and the thing that's nice about that is it can provide you with content for a possible Siri's. So let me illustrate this. In your handouts under the Class Project section, one of the worksheets looks like this that will help you to brainstorm and come up with possible class titles related to your umbrella topic. Now you may find that you get dozens of ideas, and that could be overwhelming. So what I recommend is, as you come up with ideas, you might find that there are sub topics that would fit under your umbrella topic, where you could create a series of classes. So, for example, I mentioned that my topic area is teaching online course creation and that one of the classes I could teach is on marketing your class. So that would be one topic area. So I would put class marketing as one of my topic areas in that bold section in one of those squares than for possible sub topics. I could list things like marketing your class on Pinterest, marketing your class on Facebook, marketing your class through video, etcetera, so you'll see what I mean as you start to brainstorm and get ideas because they may flow like an avalanche and at the same time, don't worry if you don't have tons of ideas, keep this list as you'll find that you get ideas as time goes on and you can add to this list. So have fun with this exercise. 8. Class Project and Next Steps: and now it's time for your class project where we can pull it all together, download and print off the worksheets in the project area. Go through the exercises and identify your umbrella topic and in the project section of this class just below the class videos, let us know what your umbrella topic is. This is going to be wonderful exposure for you where people will discover your channel, and it's a great way for you to get to know other students on the platform if possible. Please also upload an image related to your topic area, and you can find free public domain images at a site such as picks obey dot com. By adding an image, more people will notice your project, and it's also fun adds a visual component to your class project. So thank you. I really look forward to finding out what you will be teaching about and helping to promote your classes. If you have any questions, feel free to post them. I answer all questions and I reply toe all class projects so I look forward to getting to know you. And here are a few next steps. If you enjoy this glass. You'll want to check out other classes on this teaching channel. My channel topic is creating and marketing your classes as you share your brilliance with the world. So you'll find classes related to this topic area and then enjoy exploring and learning across the skill share platform on topics of interest to you. Get ideas for what you might want to offer on your channel. There's so much you can learn from the other teachers here and have fun connecting with your students as you create classes on your channel. Focus. I look forward to hearing about your class and your channel. Focus. And I want to thank you again for being here. 01 last thing. If I could be so bold, I would love to ask you to please share a review. If you found this class helpful, please take a moment and give it a thumb's up. This will help me and our future students, and by leaving a review, it will let people know what you enjoyed about the class and will help them save time and locate content that's of interest to them. And you could ask this of your students as well for your classes. So think about the skill share classes that you've been exploring as you go through the reviews from students. Doesn't that help you to identify which classes you want to go through and where you want to move on and perhaps explore a different teaching channel? So I hope you find that tip helpful, and I would be so grateful for your review. All right, so it's time to take action and identify your channel. Focus. Thanks again for being here and until next time, here's to your success.